Vancouver, British Columbia (September 2020)—From the global devastation of COVID-19 to the national grief, horror, and widespread protests set off by the killing of George Floyd, the world is reeling with chaos. No wonder waves of fear, pain, and uncertainty are infiltrating our thoughts and emotions—and thus, our homes, says Karen McGregor.
“We’re witnessing the most disease the world has seen in our lifetimes,” says McGregor, author of The Tao of Influence: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Leaders and Entrepreneurs (Mango, September 2020, ISBN: 978-1-64250-275-6, $24.95). “As individuals, we can’t be untouched by what we’re seeing and hearing and imagining. What we can do is make our home a haven from the worst of the chaos.”
If we weren’t impacted by the suffering caused by a global pandemic and clear evidence of racial injustice and abuse of power, we’d hardly be human. Speaking out and taking action to create a better world is a healthful and productive response. But dwelling on fearful, negative, stressful thoughts and images isn’t. Not only does it make you miserable, but it also weakens your immune system, says McGregor, who in addition to being an author is an international keynote and TEDx speaker and founder of the Speaker Success Formula. This is why bringing calm into your home is so important.
And there’s another reason. When you take the steps needed to create a calmer home, you’re leading by example. You’re teaching family members how to rise above stress and anxiety also. This is what being a positive influencer (the central message of The Tao of Influence) is all about. The book lays out a path—rooted in the ancient wisdom of the 4,000-year-old Tao Te Ching—for identifying and breaking the “power patterns” that undermine your influence, create dysfunctional relationships, and otherwise squelch your potential.
“When you do the work needed to overcome your power patterns, you’re building spiritual habits that create an inner sense of calm,” notes McGregor. “That sense of calm will naturally permeate your home and impact the way your family experiences daily life.”
Building those habits involves paying attention to your thoughts and emotions and getting intentional about your daily routines. Here are six tips to get you started creating a calmer home:
Start the day with a calming morning routine. Do you wake up a little early so you can enjoy some relaxing time to yourself? Or do you sleep as late as possible and then rush to get everything together for your family or work obligations?
Try setting your alarm a half-hour earlier (which may mean getting to bed earlier as well), suggests McGregor. In this bonus time, you can journal, sip a cup of coffee, pray, or meditate. Also, set a positive intention for the day ahead.
Decide what a “calm home” means to you, then express it through your surroundings. Is it happy, fun, joyful, out-of-the-box, connected, or something else? Find ways to start bringing that feeling into reality. For example, if you want to fill your home with the energy of love, you might add candles, essential oils, salt lamps, or prayer beads.
“For me, a calm, peaceful home means I have lots of windows to let in the light, white walls, and no clutter,” says McGregor. “I intentionally don’t own a lot of stuff.”
Do some spring cleaning… A messy space at home contributes to a disorganized and chaotic mind. But if we can take small steps toward establishing stillness on the outside of us, we can experience more internal peace, wellness, and harmony within.
“If you haven’t already done so, take advantage of the extra time you may have at home to clean and organize your space to promote balance and stillness,” says McGregor.
…and include your thoughts, not just your possessions. Your home is comprised of “stuff,” and all of that “stuff” contains the energy of your thoughts, says McGregor. Are you filling your home with stressful thoughts? And what are you doing that reinforces those thoughts? Spring cleaning might also mean turning off the news and calling a moratorium on social media. No question those in your house can feel the energy of your thoughts.
“I remember the year before going through a divorce, I went into my five-year-old son’s bedroom to check on him while he was sleeping,” says McGregor. “He was talking in his sleep and I heard him say, ‘Mommy is sad.’ I never told him I was sad, and I didn’t cry in front of him, because at the time I believed it was better to hide those things. But my thoughts were sad, and he picked up on it. Your thoughts are present in the very fabric of your home.”
Once you are aware of negative thoughts, release them. “When a negative or fearful thought crosses your mind, release it and watch it energetically drift out of your home and dissolve into Mother Earth,” says McGregor. “Several times each day, ask yourself, What am I holding on to at this moment that could be released? Encourage each of your family members to release thoughts in this same way, too.”
By the way…it’s important to fully feel your emotions. Your thoughts and emotions are meant to move through you like a wave that arrives and then dissipates, says McGregor. After you completely feel them, replace them with empowering thoughts that generate peace. For example I am so thankful for the opportunity to practice letting go of this situation.
“Every time you are grateful and accept a situation, it calms your mind, thereby calming your body, impacting those around you and the energy of your home,” says McGregor.
“It may be a mad world outside of your home, but choosing what you allow inside your living space is a radical act of love and empowerment for you and your family,” concludes McGregor. “Make your environment a place of nurture and safety, and you will feel more grounded and in control, even in these troubled times. And you’ll influence your family in a positive and meaningful way.”
About Karen McGregor:
Karen McGregor is a thought leader and catalyst for influencers with a powerful global message and is the author of The Tao of Influence: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Leaders and Entrepreneurs. Karen has supported hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs over the past decade to create and deliver powerful messages. An inspiring international speaker who presents across all industries (her TEDx Talk on happiness has been viewed by over a million people), she walks her talk every day, sharing her message on stage with luminaries like Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, John Gray, and David Wolfe. Her ideas and direct quotes have been featured on CTV News, Reader’s Digest, Breakfast Television (Toronto, Canada), Florida Weekly, and many other prominent media outlets.
About the Book:
The Tao of Influence: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Leaders and Entrepreneurs (Mango, September 2020, ISBN: 978-1-64250-275-6, $24.95) is available from major online booksellers.
For more information, please visit www.karenmcgregor.com.